Tag Archive: Egypt


Palet, Deliverer


Hi.
I know, crucify me. I haven’t been writing awhile now.
This would be my first proper story since October last year and hence, my first story of the year.
Hope you enjoy it!

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PALET, DELIVERER

He hid himself in the shadow of a tall column, momentarily whispering a prayer of thanks for Sethis, the Pharaoh, and his obsession with the odd pillars. When he heard the last shuffling of the feet of worshippers in the temple and the last whispers as acolytes left, he made ready to move. Silence descended and he slowly padded on his bare feet, walking familiar steps as he had every day since he began to come in here.

In his head, he counted until his feet met the first raised dais. He climbed the stairs until he got to the top, facing the altar. He sidestepped the altar and walked into an inconspicuous room at the side. Inside the room lay what he came to find.

His heart thudded in his head and his blood rushed with the euphoria that came with doing a bad deed.

He knelt blindly, feeling with his hands for the tell-tale shape of the box. When his hands brushed past an oblong object, he retraced his movements till he touched the box.

Yes. This one.

His fingers caressed the symbol of the ibis engraved.

He put his hands into the shift he wore, slipping out a key he had early pilfered from the Chief Priest. He inserted the key and twisting, he opened the box. He dipped his hand in, brushing away the slips of silk used to cover the item he was after.

At the first feel of solidity, he smiled and using both hands, he brought out the tablets of gold. His breath hitched at their surprisingly heavy weight. He stood, holding the tablets to his chest and not as quick as before, he made his way out of the room. He gingerly walked past the altar, to the stairs and down. So intent on keeping his footing, he didn’t notice the guard creeping up behind him.

“Halt!” The Egyptian guard shouted and he stopped abruptly, his heart suddenly thumping harder with adrenaline.

“Who are you? What are you carrying?”

The man stood still, mind calculating. Making up his mind, he set his burden down slowly.

The guard shifted, his stance showing he was ready for whatever happened.

“I said who are you!”

“At ease” the man whispered and the guard gasped his name in recognition. He relaxed and was suddenly wondering what had just happened when a sharp pain bloomed at the side of his head. He collapsed, and the man caught his dropping body before he thudded and alerted more people. He put his hands under his nose to check if he was still alive. Ascertaining he was dead, he picked up his burden and walked away.

He did not notice the second guard who had heard his name said and seconds later, watch his comrade get killed. The guard quickly left to report.

The man, hiding through shadows finally got to his room and with a thud, he shut the door. He dumped his load on the bed.

Walking to the table, he kindled a lamp and smiled softly at the golden tablets, glowing beautifully.

Ramoses’ eyes glinted as he eyed the Sacred Book of Thoth.

——————————————————————————————–

He crept out of the room, making sure he had hidden the tablets properly. Breathing deeply, he decided to take a stroll, allowing himself to be guided by his feet. The guards posted to the palace at night were used to the late-night strolls of the Princess’s son. With a small bow, they acknowledged him and returning their bows with a wave, he walked into the night, his nose instantly flaring at the mixed smell of spices to drive the Nile’s blood-sucking insects back and burning wood.

He walked aimlessly, allowing his fingers touch stones and pillars, reminiscing. Unconsciously, he walked through the Israelites’ quarters, deserted. They weren’t ones to hang around at night. It wasn’t even safe for them during the day.

His sandaled feet met with cobbled stones and he hummed a little tune as he walked through what would be a bubbling market in the day but was quiet now, save for a few who walked quickly into homes.

His attention was caught by raised voices and curious, he walked towards them. In an alley dimly lit my burning torches, two Israelites argued and suddenly feeling the need to play mediator, he walked to them.
“Peace my friends” he called out.

“Who are you? Who is your friend” One spat, eyes shifty with apprehension.

He walked closer and when they saw his face, they gasped.

“Ramoses!”

His face was a popular one. He smiled.

“Ye..”

“You! Killer!”

Ramoses stopped. “What? What do you mean?” he asked quietly.

“Do you want to kill us like you killed the guard? I overheard the guards just a few minutes ag..”

Fast-thinking and without waiting for the man to finish, Ramoses fled.

They knew!

How?

He didn’t allow his mind dwell on that, focusing on getting himself back to his quarters.

Suddenly he heard voices of guards coming closer.

Quickly, he used the not so-well known route he had traipsed with Rameses when they were children, beating his way to the palace. He had to get to his room before they thought to search it!

In and out of alleys, he disappeared, mind churning with apprehension. How had they known?!. Soon, he was outside the window of his room. With care, he climbed and praying he had not shut it from the inside, he shifted the wood aperture and tumbled into his room.

Quick, he searched for the tablets and finding them, he breathed a sigh of relief. They had not been in there yet.

He wrapped the tablets in bales of clothes and quickly changing, he put on a Israelite cloak he had bought out of a whim, after finding out about his secret parentage. Disguising himself with soot to darken his hair and roughen his face, he hefted the clothes and grimaced at their weight.

He opened the window and stumbled out.

As he shut the window, he heard the clamour of guards just at the door and as the window thud shut, they burst open.

Quickly, he disappeared, making his way out of Egypt.

Any place was better than Egypt…for now.

—————————————————————————————————————-

Zipporah looked at the man who had been with them for the past two week out of the corner of her eyes with distrust. He had come, claiming to be an escaped Israelite from Egypt. She didn’t know much about the world but what she knew was that no Israelite escaped from Egypt. He claimed to be called Moses and he wouldn’t let her help carry his sack when he had come. In fact, with the way he had acted when she had offered to help with the sack, she knew he definitely had something to hide.

Hmmm…

She watched him laugh with her father Jethro as they shared lunch.

Just who was he and what secret was he hiding? Why was he abusing her father’s hospitality by claiming to be who he wasn’t?

Curiosity got the better of her and suddenly, she got up and slowly walked out of the tent. Out, she quickly ran to the tent they had set up for him as her father’s guest after he had helped them with the thieving Amalekites who came to steal her father’s sheep.

She crept in and eyeing his bedding, she found the mounds of cloth.

She walked to it and uncovering, she gasped.

Gold.

Glimmering, shining gold.

Even more fascinating were the scrawls on them she was sure were letterings. She could not read. She had always been fascinated with words but her father never understood the need for her to learn, seeing as she was a woman. He had asked her to put more effort into being pleasing enough to be a bride when she had asked to be taught.

She sighed as her fingers caressed the engraved words.  Taking the second tablet, she stared at it in awe.

Beautiful.

The third was a much thinner sheet and had pictures of men and women with animal heads. She stared, unaware of the shadow that grew behind her back.

“You looked through my things” Ramoses said softly.

She jumped; dropping the sheet she had in her hands in a hurry and getting up, suddenly cautious of how small the tent was. Was he going to harm her?

She cleared her throat. “Who are you?” she asked, staring at him warily.

“You have seen the book.”

She nodded, her gaze shifting to where she had dropped the tablet. “I cannot read but I know real gold. What is an Israelite doing with something…like this?”

He eyed her “And since when did I have to answer to a mere slip of a girl?”

Her eyes flash with anger and she stood to her full height. “Since this mere slip of a girl can tell her father that his guest could be a thief.”

He stared at her and she stared right back, as if daring him to call her bluff.

“Ramoses. Son of Nepheri, Princess of Egypt…or so I thought”

She laughed in derision. “A Prince. Really. I might be a woman but I am not stupid.”

He frowned. “I am…was a Prince”

“Am. Was. You lie.” She sniffed, folding her hands under her arm.

“Would a common Israelite have this kind of book in his possession?”

“You stole it” she hit back.

He sighed, exasperated. “Stole a treasured book? How does a lowly Israelite get into a Holy Temple to steal a Book of Gold?”

She paused, biting her lip in thought. She suddenly stared at him with renewed interest.

“You’re not lying?”

He threw his hands up in exasperation. “I am not, woman!”

He sat down and rearranged the bundle, pushing the golden tablets back into the fold of the cloth.

“A former Prince of Egypt…” she murmured in thought, gaze faraway. His shuffling brought her back to the present and she turned to him. “How?”

He looked up. “How?”

She settled herself down on the bedding. “Yes! How? It must be a fascinating story, like the type Papa used to tell us as kids!”

He looked into her inquisitive eyes quivering with excitement and shook his head.

“I am sorry. My story isn’t a child’s fairy tale. And it is not safe information”

“I know it is no child’s story and I am not a child. I want to know. I yearn to know. I am imprisoned here by my duties to family. Only by stories can my mind soar free”

“Zipporah, there are some things you cannot know. It isn’t safe”

“Oh please Moses! Who would I tell? My sisters? They have no other dream but to get married to the man Papa chooses for them. I promise on my life to keep your secret safe” she pressed her hands to her heart solemnly.

He looked at her expectant face and smiled a little.

“Well, I was a Prince, yes. I was born a Prince, brought up a Prince in the temple of Ra himself, I was an acolyte. A scholar. With no chance of taking the throne, I buried myself in the study of our gods. I immersed myself in the study of the book you just held.”

He paused, mind far away.

As she opened her mouth to urge him, he continued.

“I found out I wasn’t a prince after all. My mother…foster mother told me. I had been drawn out of water. I sought out my real parents but couldn’t find them…Israelites of the House of Levi.”

She stared at him in fascination. “What is Egypt really like? Does the Queen bathe in milk like the merchants that come around here say? Is her skin as white as alabaster?”

“Egypt…” he sighed. “Both beautiful and deadly. Like the Egyptian snake. And the Queen might bath in milk but you’re prettier than she is.”

She shushed him, trying to hide a small smile.  “And why did you take the book? What is in it?”

He thought.

“Why indeed” he murmured.

Lying on the bed, he hooked both arms under his head.

“I took it on a whim. Maybe the god the Israelites worship would show me what to do with it.” He said sardonically. “There has always been talks about a deliverer among them. Maybe…maybe I took it for him. What if he came? It would be a good weapon against the Egyptians…”

She shook her head. “What is in the book? How can you go from an Egypt- loving Prince to a Egypt- hating Israelite in a matter of days? It is…not right.”

He studied her intently, mind suddenly wondering how he never noticed how lovely her lips were. Sure, she wasn’t as pretty as her other sisters but there was something about her inquisitiveness that gave her a strong aura.

At that moment, he decided she was a good woman.

He smiled at her. “As I said, Egypt was both beautiful and deadly. Even as a Prince, I had no love for Egyptians. The cruelty…” he paused, brows creased in a frown. “I once had dreams that I would somehow be the Pharaoh and the first thing I’d do would be to give slaves their freedom.”

He laughed; short and bitter.

“And the book?”

“Magic.” He smiled mischievously. “Magic of the Earth, of the skies. Words of Power. That is what is in the book.”

She looked at him, trying to see if he was joking. Something about the book she had touched left her with a feeling that he wasn’t.

She shivered.

“Magic…” she murmured.

A month later, they departed as husband and wife. He married her to ensure his secret remind close to home; She married him for adventure.

They journeyed together to Egypt, where his destiny awaited him.

—————————————————————————————————————

“I require an audience with the Pharaoh” Moses said boldly to the court official.

The bald, fat man eyed the Israel in his presence with such contempt. “The Pharaoh does not speak to slaves.”

Moses smiled. “Tell him this slave holds The Book.”

The official raised a pencilled eyebrow. “The Book?”

“Thoth” Moses whispered and the countenance of the man change from surprise to fear to apprehension. He stared harder at Moses, as if trying to strip away the beard and the premature lines on his forehead. His eyes widened in recognition.

“Ramoses!” he gasped.

“Moses. Tell him, Moses.”

Ramses sat on his throne, eyeing the man before him.

“You came back. Where is the book?”

Moses smiled at his one-time friend. The look on the Pharaoh’s face showed exactly what he thought of their friendship.

“It is where it is, until we reach an agreement. Harm me, and you’ll never find the book. You will never find it if you try to be sneaky too. If you threaten my life, I would teach the Israelites the words of Thoth and we’d see how it feels to be mastered, Ramses”

“Pharaoh to you” Ramses muttered furious

“You will meet my demands and then, you can have your Book.”

Pharaoh eyed him.

“And what are these…demands.”

“Free the Israelite slaves.”

Ramses jumped off the throne in ire. “Impossible!”

Moses watched him as he paced, his short brown legs pumping furiously as they took him up and down.

“Impossible!” he sat back on his throne.

Moses shrugged.

“I could reinstate you as Prince. You could have the finest Princesses from Ethiopia for wife. Gold! Rubies! Jade!”

“Free the Israel” Moses murmured.

Angrily, the Pharaoh called the guards who he had dismissed to have a private word with the renegade thief.

“Take him out of here but do not harm him”

As he was being led out, Moses turned.

“You’ll send for me”

Ramses eyed his back as he left, churning inside.

Two days later, Ramses sat agitated, fingers drumming on the elaborately gilded armrest. He heard croaks and gritted his teeth as a frog leapt on his arm. He swiped it with irritation, yelling for a guard to kill it.

“And where is the whoreson!” he yelled and the court officials nervously twitched, unsure of what to do.

“He would be with us soon, Pharaoh”

He hissed, spitting. “Frogs. Using our magic against us. The cheek! I should kill him!”

“But Pharaoh!” One of the plump officials with a high reedy voice quipped. “He said he’d destroy the book if we killed him!”

“Yes! Yes! Bring him here already” the Pharaoh angrily muttered.

A second later, the tall arrogant frame of Moses filled the hallway and he walked to him.

“Ramses. You sent for me.”

“Of course I sent for you! How dare you!” The Pharaoh’s eyes widened with rage as he tried to control his temper. Breathing deeply, he calmed.

“Banish the frogs to the Nile”

Moses pointed at the Head Sorcerer who stood among the officials. “He is a sorcerer. He can do it.”

“He could have done it had you not commanded ALL THE FROGS IN THE NILE OUT!”

The Head Sorcerer threw Moses a look of disgust. “Cheap tricks” he muttered.

Moses turned to him. “Cheap tricks? Or maybe the god of Israel is using me to punish you” He smiled and turned to the Pharaoh. “Free the Israelites and I will banish the frogs”

“No!” The Pharaoh’s voice boomed.

Moses chuckled and turned to leave.

“Stay right there!” Pharaoh commanded he paused. “Yes?” he asked without turning back.

“Fine! Go! And return the Book!”

Smiling, Moses left and the officials gathered round their King.

“But Pharaoh!…”

“You can’t…”

“Free them?…”

“SILENCE!” The Pharaoh commanded and a hush fell.

He looked at his subjects and smiled. “Of course I would not release the Israelites. But he doesn’t know that…”

He chuckled.

It wasn’t long before Moses made another appearance in the courts of the Pharaoh.

“Darkness! Hail! Locusts! Turning the Nile to blood! A curse on you and the filthy Israelite woman that birth you! A curse on the people you champion! Go! Go! Out of my sight! And give us our Book!”

Without any acknowledgement, Moses went back to the Israel quarters, where the Elders of the community waited.

“Would he release us?!…”

“Are we free to go?…”

Moses held a hand up at the clamouring. When it was quiet, he sat down.

“He would not release us.”

The Elders groaned, cursing.

Moses held a hand up and again, they hushed.

“I will force his hand and this time, he will let us go” he murmured to the gathered men.

“What will you do Moses?…”

“What power do you use?…”

“Why does the Pharaoh fear you!”

Moses waited till the noise quietened.

“It is the power of a God” he whispered. “And a God will deliver us. Make ready. Three days from now, we will leave the land of Egypt.”

“How!…”

“Tell us Moses!…”

“Deliverer! The Deliverer!…”

*********************************************

Moses sat in his room, the golden book on the table. The lamp illuminated the strange writings.

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath and let it out. Slowly, he began to recite, arms wide, voice in whispers.

A shadow made of dark matter formed and whispering commands, the shadow dispersed.

He sat down shaking, wiping off the beaded sweat on his brows. He closed his eyes and muttering, a bright light appeared on his table.

Seconds later, he covered the tablets and made it ready.

The Pharaoh would let them go now, His Book to be returned.

He made ready and headed to the Palace.

His attention would be needed.

***********************************************

“You killed my son. My only son.”

“You caused it, Ramses.”

“You killed the first son of my people…for Israelite slaves”

“Can we go now?”

Ramses nodded, resigned “Go. If I see your face again Ramoses, you will surely die. Drop the book here. Drop it and leave. You and your accursed people!”

Moses dropped the bundle on the table and left.

Outside the courts, he laughed, face alight with victory.

“Freedom!” He screamed.

“Freedom!”

****************************************************

They left with all they had, leaving nothing behind.

“Your day of Deliverance has come” he spoke in a loud voice.

The people roared in approval, shaking the foundations of Mizraim.

430 years in slavery and they were finally free.

“Freedom!” Moses cried.

The people of Israel echoed his cry.

“Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!”

***************************************************

“What do you mean!?”

The Head Sorcerer swallowed. “Pharaoh, this is not the Book of Thoth.”

The Pharaoh touched the golden tablets. “Feels real. Explain!”

The sorcerer closed his eyes, whispering and the air shimmered.

On the table where the golden tablets were before, laid three bricks.

The silence evaded the air. Then the Pharaoh let out a roar of rage, causing the sorcerer to fall back in fright.

The guards rushed in in alarm.

He sat on back on his seat, head pounding.

“Summon the Commander of my army.” He whispered. “Summon the commander of my chariots.”

The guards rushed out and the Sorcerer took the opportunity to make his escape.

“Free my slaves. Trick the Pharaoh. He will surely die…” he murmured, making a tight fist with his hands.

“He will die!”

He slammed his hand on the desk vehemently.

“Ramoses!”

 

Forty Years Later.

Moses walked to the Tent of Meeting, followed behind by the young man and would-be successor he had chosen, Joshua, who had a bag slung over his shoulder. He breathed heavily at the weight.

“What is in the bag?” he asked for the umpteenth time that night and Moses ignored him.

Inside the tent, Moses commanded him to leave the bag and step out.

Once out, Moses gingerly moved the bag into the Holiest of the Holies.

He stopped to admire the golden Ark of Covenant which was placed in the middle.

Slowly, he pushed off the lid of the ark.

Forcing his old muscles to move, he hefted each tablet placing them into the Box.

When the third sheet was in, he breathed hard, wiping his forehead. With shaking hands, he pulled back the lid to the Ark of the Covenant.

The next day, he gathered the High Priest and Levites.

“The Ark of the Covenant must never be opened. It is a Symbol of a God’s Power and Knowledge” he whispered to the small gathering. “It shall be carried by the Levites after they have sanctified themselves”

They nodded in agreement.

Moses sighed and closed his eyes, satisfied.

He had found a new home for the Sacred Book of Thoth.

The End

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Fact or Fantastic Fiction?

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Yetsi’at


Her tongue slowly slid out of her lips. She flicked them in the air, tasting; waiting. Her lips parted, revealing teeth that shone in the darkness.
She smiled and began singing softly, under her breath.

He sat, bare back hunched. Long, unbound white hair fell across his face, obscuring his visage. His fingers glided hesitantly on the strings of the instrument he carried on his arm. Head cocked, he listened to the sound of her voice. The soft whispering voice that sang in his head.

She sniffed the air, taking in the smell of sand and burnt spices. Her tongue slipped out again, measuring. She opened her eyes and stared out into the darkness, barely illuminated by pinprick glows of flickering flames. She saw nothing.  Eyes filmed over. No sight.

He cleared his throat.
“You shall not be afraid…of the terror..by night…”. His voice broke.

“Or of the arrow that fly by day…” she whispered out loud.

A slight wind buffeted the dark robes she was swaddled in, which hid her body frame from view. Only her head was bared.

He smiled and gently plucked his strings. He lived in his world of silence; silence broken by her voice. He plays to her voice.
He’s deaf.

The air thrummed with energy. Her tongue swayed expertly, gathering the energy to her palate, extracting the information she needed.
Assimilating.
Discerning.
It was almost time.

His fingers continued their labour of love. They kept picking and strumming even though they knew their owner would never enjoy the fruits of their labour. It soothed him. That was all that mattered to them.
Slender, pale fingers, kept working.

“It’s time” she whispered and he stopped, mid-play.They were apart on a high crag formed by a sand dune. A cool wind blew, as if in affirmation of this statement; its chilly fingers playing tenderly with her flowing mass of dark hair. She steadily walked towards him, unmindful of the sand that tended to give way under one’s foot. He watched her gracefully stand beside him and touch his shoulders. He felt shivers down his back and he inclined his head towards her.

The sound of skin splitting was stolen away by the slowly increasing howl of the wind.
Dark gashes appeared at his back and slowly, his wings revealed themselves. He stood up, great in height, instrument in hand. The paleness of his bared torso glowed in the dark. His hair took on a golden hue and his eyes glowed, a vivid shade of red. His wings, the purest of white and his instrument, the dullest shade of sienna.

Slowly, her dark robes began unfurling themselves, fabric waving noiselessly in the air. The mass of it blocked her equally pale skin from view. Her wings peeked from sheets.
“We ride” she whispered even as the unfurling continued.
He nodded.
Together, they walked to the edge and without hesitation, fell into the waiting arms of darkness.

——————————-

I watch the faces gathered around the fire. Facial expressions mirror one another.
Fear.
Confusion.
Yhuda, my older brother looks grimly into the fire, arm slung over the shoulder of his twin brother Iuda.
Tateh’s eyes are closed, eyebrows knitted. That is his thinking face, my Tateh. Little Yochanan is sitted near Tateh, eyes wide, staring hypnotised, into the fire. Mameh and my sisters are trying to get some unleavened bread ready. I can hear Mameh scolding Hephzibah. She’s a clumsy one, our sister.
I clear my throat.
“Tateh..papa…”
His eyes snap open and turn to me.
“Amram” he said, his way of asking me what ails.
“Why are we doing this?” I say in a voice barely above a whisper.
He coughs, ridding his chest cavity of phlegm and spits into the fire.
The small flames sizzle.
“Moshe Rabbenu says we shall be free people tonight. He says HaShem would deliver us. We have done all that he says. All we have to do is wait.”
I nod, even though I do not really understand.
Yhuda looks at me briefly at throws me a smile. I smile back, uncertain. Earlier, we had killed a lamb with Dod Ishkar’s family. We ate them roasted, with very bitter herbs and hard bread. Mameh had said the bread was made without the raising thing. Forget the word the Mitzrayim call it. We had eaten it in a hurry, as Moshe had told us to do. I had watched as Dod and Papa painted the door frames with the blood of the lamb killed. According to Moshe, the ceremony was to be called Pesach.
Dod had said gruffly that it would keep out Mal’ach Hamavet, when i asked what the blood was going to do.
Mal’ach Hamavet. Death.
That thought disturbs me.
Keep out Death? How? I will not ask Tateh. He is no good at explanation.
I’d ask Yhuda later.
“How will we know when we’re delivered?” I turn to ask Yhuda
He shrugs. “We will know”
Iuda nods at this and repeat the same words.
Tateh nods in approval.
We will know.
We fall back into silence.
I bring my meager belongings Moshe had said we should pack, closer and hug it, eyes open but mind lost in thought.

—————————–

Land became visible and his eyes could pick out shadows of people who passed, amongst other things.They slowed and smoothly descended at the bank of the Great River.
“Praa” she whispered to him as his wings retracted. Her robes once again moulded around her.
He nodded and together, they walked to do their duty.

———————-

Mashuy walked aimlessly, tired. He could not sit and rest.
Guard duty.
There was an increase in the number of guards tonight.
The Praa wanted to make sure Ramoses didn’t organise an assassination on the Royal Son, and then claim it as his ‘god’s work’.
It was his first night guarding the Praa.
He stood beside the door, trying not to lean. He would be whipped severely if seen by the Guard Master.
He allowed his eyes glaze, staring at nothing but the play of shadows.
Suddenly his back arched and he jerked to an upright stance.
The door opened on its own. He glanced at the other guards who stood watch, but they hadn’t moved a muscle.
He stared back at the door and was surprised to see it closed.
He thought his tiredness was getting to him.
He began pacing again.

——————————-

The demons stared at the two figures that approached, baleful, from where their statues were. The blind woman could not see them but her flickering tongue could taste their sweet, smarmy stench of corruption. Only Bastet and Hathor stood from their crouched positions, glowing in their ornaments of rubies and emeralds. They looked haughtily at the two emissaries, orb-like eyes shining dully in the dim room. They bared the way. The woman walked up to them and as she approached, the two goddesses shrank back. The woman’s hair rose from her back and like a whip, it lashed the demon goddesses away. They whimpered, eyes burning with hatred as they slunk back, failed sentries. They walked into his chamber and stared at his sleeping body, covered in silk. He, being the Royal Son. The first son of Praa.

She walked to his bedside as if with sight and cast her blind gaze on him.
The deaf man walked to the other side and gently fingered the forelock of the sleeping King-to-be, black against his bronze skin.
The deaf man looked at her and feeling her gaze on him, she nodded.
He brought forth his stringed instrument and humming, he began playing. His skin began to glow as the tune he played progressed.
The boy tossed on the bed, as if struggling. His eyes opened and he sat up with a jolt, mouth open in a silent scream.
The musician played his instrument faster, fingers flying over strings.
The boy flopped back on the bed, his writhing causing the bed to quake, bed clothes bunched around his almost naked body. He was fighting a losing battle. His spasms decreasing in intensity. With one final jerk, and a faint cry from his slack lips, his body stilled. Slowly, soul separated from flesh. Sensing the emergence, she stretched out her hand through her robes, gathering the smoke-like Ba that rose. She opened her mouth and threw it.
He stopped playing and stared at the boy, sadly.
“Come. Many more await.” she said.

—————————

Anahita opened the door and entered into her house under the cover of darkness. Her father would kill her if he found out she had just come in. She quickly walked to her room, and on second thoughts, suddenly stopped. She hadn’t seen her brother, Amen, since the sun rose. He was recovering from the boils which her father believed was inflicted on him by the accursed Ramose…or Moshe as the Habiru slaves called him.
She tiptoed into his room and poked her head in.
The torch flames had not been doused yet, she noticed angrily. The rustling of sheet drew her eyes to the figure of her father’s first boy on the make shift bed.
Her eyes widened in growing horror as she watched her brother jerk, eyes open, arms splayed to his sides.
She screamed…

——————————-

…and we all jerk in alarm.
The twins sit up, ears cocked.
Even Mameh stopped her kneading.
She walks over to Tateh and asks him what it is.
Tateh has no idea, I know, but he doesn’t say it.
“Moshe” is all he says. The name has turned into a talisman.
We all trust Moshe.
Again, the scream is repeated, this time, farther away. It is joined by another scream.
And another.
And another.We all stand, unable to hide the alarm anymore.

Yhuda voices what we had all noticed.
“It comes from the Mitzrayim side ” he whispers.
Yochanan looks more afraid  and he clings to Tateh, eyes getting wider.
Tateh disengages himself from him and walks over to Mameh.
He wants to go check what is happening outside.
“Moshe said to stay in. Remember. Mal’ach Hamavet ” she says in a hushed voice.
Tateh sighs and nods.
He motions us to sit back down while Mameh goes back to her little corner. She begins scolding Hephzibah again. It seems she’s crying. Ona, my elder sister shushes her brusquely.
This is going to be a long night.

————————————————-

They walked out of the last building.
“All done” the blind woman whispered, face turned to the sky.
“All done” he replied.
Screams of anguish rent the air but they are oblivious to it.
After all, he is deaf. He cannot hear them.
She is blind, she cannot see them.
Together they walk into the darkness, the emissaries of Death.

———————————————–

There is heavy pounding at the door and we all jump up.
Dod Ishakar’s voice asks for entrance and Yhuda is quick enough to go and open.
Tateh rises too and goes to meet his brother.
“Moshe says to move. We are free.”
I cannot believe it.
I stand, oblivious to the sudden increase in activity around me.
“Amram!” my Mameh says hastily, and I’m freed from the bondage of my reverie. I turn to face her and see she was holding a sack to my face.
“Quick!” Tateh says “If we don’t leave now, we might never leave again!”
The talk of missing our chance galvanizes us into action.
After 430 years of slavery, it seems we are finally free.
Baruch atah Adonai.

——————————————————-

Yetsi’at – The Exodus
HaShem – The Name
Tateh- Papa
Mameh- Mama
Mitzrayim- Egypt
Baset/ Haroth- Egyptian goddesses of protection.
Dod- Uncle
Mal’ach Hamavet – Angel of Death
Praa – Pharaoh.
Moshe Rabbenu – Moses, our Teacher
Ramoses- Moses’ real name according to some Egyptologists and  some Scholars.

————————————-

Originally had two tales in mind but this is a merger of both. This is dedicated to the people of HaShem everywhere in the world, celebrating the feast of Pesach (Passover).
Hope you enjoyed that. You can lie if you didn’t 😀

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